November 5, 2016
By Silver Krieger
New York, NY – One MTA worker was killed, and another seriously injured when they were struck by a G train in a Brooklyn tunnel early Thursday around midnight.
The workers, both Conductors, were “flagging” – preparing the track for overnight repairs between the Fort Hamilton Parkway and Church Avenue stations in Kensington. Flaggers go into a tunnel with lanterns to light the way before repairs begin.
53-year-old Louis Gray was taken to Maimonides Medical Center, where he died from his injuries. 49-year-old Jeffrey Fleming was taken to Methodist Hospital with injuries to his torso, where he was hospitalized in serious but stable condition. A third worker was with the men but was not hit by the train.
In a statement, John Samuelsen, President of Transport Workers Union Local 100, said, “These two men were working the overnight shift to put food on their table and provide for their families. Now, one is dead and the other seriously injured. I ask everyone in the city to keep them and their families in your prayers.”
At a meeting Thursday morning at 7 a.m.to workers in the Electronic Maintenance Division in their crew quarters in Long Island City, Queens, Samuelson told the members, “Go home in one piece. Go home in one piece to your families. If it comes to a question about even what appears to be a minor decision, that could
impact your safety, always side with caution on the side of your family, not on the side of the New York City Transit Authority. And I’ll tell you one theme, one theme going forward that is now reinforced for us, and it’s an accurate theme, and it’s a just theme, and it’s a moral theme: this company cannot protect us, it’s demonstrated it can’t protect us. We die on the tracks, we suffer massive casualties on the tracks even when there’s no fatality. Three to four transit workers a week are still getting assaulted. Three bus operators alone in a week get assaulted, Local 100 members on the streets, industrial accidents in the subway…The company has proven that they cannot protect us, and all right, you can’t protect us – you better damn well pay us in this contract. That’s what it comes down to.” The union’s contract with the MTA expires January 15th and negotiations are about to start.
According to the TWU Local 100, this is the thirteenth time a transit worker has been killed on the job since 2001.